Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sleepin' with Sea Turtles...Spark Student Motivation...

I'm pretty certain that Saturday is my 
day of the week.  
Can I get an "Amen"?

I'm linkin' up with one of my BBB's, Joanne,
for Spark Student Motivation Saturday.

I'm just goin' to go ahead and admit...
I was NOT happy when my team suggested 
we go on a 5th grade field trip to Sea World in Orlando, Fl.

My complaints...because y'all KNOW I was complainin'...
Not only was I thinkin' these...I was definitely
sayin' them out loud bein' VERY vocal...

1.  What???
That's SIX hours away...I get car sick...which then 
translates into...I'm goin' to barf on the bus.
I am NOT cleanin' up barf...on a movin' bus.
This is why I don't have children.
No...I'm not goin' can't make me.

2. AND...there are NO showers??  I don't like to be dirty.
This is not natural.
I shower at least two to three times a day...EVERY day.
I'm not a germaphobe, but I like to be CLEAN.
You have smelled the 5th graders after P.E.?
You want them to go the ENTIRE time without
a shower TOO?

3.  Furthermore, you want me to sleep AT Sea World?
 In a habitat? With creatures?
In my pajamas?
I will have nightmares every day for the rest of my
life about sharks if you make me sleep with sharks.
I DON'T do sharks.

4. Seriously?
Are you INSANE?
You want me to be at school
at 1:30 in the the DARK, to get on the bus
after teachin' ALL day?
Y'all have seriously done lost your minds!

5. Do they have plugs for air mattresses and devices?
I am not sleepin' on the floor.
Who is goin' to pack me a sleepin' bag?
I don't camp...or glamp...or anything of this nature.
What happens when my cell phone dies?
What if there is an emergency?
How will parents get ahold of me?

There were some positive thoughts....some...

1. Kids are goin' to WANT to go on this trip.
It's goin' to spark some student motivation 
to make them earn this trip.
I'll get to hang it over their heads to behave...
every.second.of.every whoa!
Me likey this idea!

2. We are goin' to miss a WHOLE day of school?
I don't have to write lesson plans?
I like school and all, but I like a "Get out of Jail FREE" 
card every once in awhile in this real-life game of Monopoly.
Okay...I'll think about it.

3. We get to sleep with sea turtles who are calm and relaxin'
instead of the sharks?  Sign me up.
I can totally get down with sea turtles.
No blood curdlin' screams will be escapin' from me.

4. All the kids will have to sleep from 2 a.m. until sunrise
on the bus without bein' able to use devices?
Maybe this won't be so bad after all.

Y'all know I wasn't goin' to let my team
and kiddos go without me...right?

I kicked and screamed just about every minute
before we left on that trip.
I let my teammates that planned it know that
I was NOT happy with their
choice of not sleepin' at a hotel...
on a BED...a soft and comfortable bed.
I even shot laser outs of my eyes when they were
textin' my administrators pictures of "Oscar the Grouch"
on the bus, just before sunrise, after she did not sleep
as promised and didn't have any caffeine in her bloodstream.
There WILL be payback!

When all was said and done though,
the field trip was a HUGE success with 96 happy travelers.
The parents were extremely helpful and complimentary.
All the kids were well-behaved and had an
AMAZIN' time.

Would I spend the night in Sea World again?
That's still up for debate.
There was a lot of walkin' and draggin' our
bags back and forth.  The kids were a little too tired
to enjoy it after bein' up all night the night before.
(No, they did not sleep like we thought they would
on the bus.  Surprise, surprise!)
Next time...if there is a next time,
I think we should stay in a hotel the night before,
enjoy the park the followin' day and THEN
spend the night in there.

Check out the craziness.
Warnin'...lots of pictures ahead.

The Sea Lion and Sea Otter show.

Some of my girls were textin' me selfies...or I returned the favor.

The best photo of the day.

Winnin' Brainy Smurf was absolutely fittin' for my Nerd Herd.

More groupies.

I don't know which impressed me more at the dolphin show...
the dolphins or the aerial acrobatics.  Best show of the day!

We did a craft, ate some pizza and licked some Shamu ice cream before
headin' off on our night tour.

My kids pretty much called me a wimp because I didn't want
to touch any livin' creatures.
I wasn't goin' down like that in front of a bunch of 5th graders, so
I stuck my hand in that tank to pet a shark...I know...
I'm NUTS! 
One of my sweet parents held my hand to to be sure I wouldn't
pass out from this.

Tourin' the shark night.
Obviously they aren't fraidy cats like their teacher.

After draggin' our stuff about five miles to the bathroom
to change for the night (okay, I exaggerate a little)
and kiddos losin' underwear on the way back even though the tour
guide warned them to wrap them up tight....and every 5th grader
used a wet washcloth WITH soap to get off the dirt and germs...
it was FINALLY sleepy time in the sea turtle habitat.
This was super awesome.
I only woke up one time at 2:30 a.m. when one of my kids was
sittin' straight up...asleep.
I don't think the tour guide was too excited to see
my face when I was beggin' her to let me use the
SECRET bathroom.

The mornin' after our sleepover...the turtle was sayin' goodbye to us.

Checkin' out the dolphin grotto before breakfast.

Our final roam around the park before it opened for the day
and we headed back home.

These two lil' stalkers refused to let me sleep on the bus ride back.
They pretty much stared at me through the cracks of the seat
the WHOLE way home!  
I finally gave up and took a billion pics with them.

Smiles all around for an eventful trip.

36 hours later....I was so excited to take a hot shower
and hop in my Big Comfy(that's her name) bed.  
I didn't emerge from my cocoon for FIFTEEN hours.
I didn't feel guilty for sleepin' that long at all.

Joanne, don't be mad at me that I didn't text you while I was there.
I was conservin' my phone battery for fear I would never
see an electrical outlet while I was gone.
One finally appeared at 11:00 at night.
I was able to sleep well though knowin' you might hear me yell
if a sea turtle got me in my sleep.

This week we went on another adventure to
our local waterpark.
This is a tradition for all 3rd through 5th graders...
for a celebration after our state testin'.
This trip is another fabulous way for the upper grades
to spark some student motivation at our school before summer break.
I'm sure you aren't surprised to learn I took another very long nap 
after this adventure also!

Happy Saturday, friends!


  1. I'm only a tiny bit mad at you! (Don't worry, I'll let you make it up to me this summer!) Your trip looks amazing, but I would've had the same concerns and complaints! So glad it went off without a hitch, except for missing underwear! I can't believe you went to a waterpark field trip too-so much fun at your school!!! Exhausting, but VERY motivating! Thanks for sharing and linking up my sweet friend!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. Alison major props to you!!! It looks like you all had such a fun time! This is something the kids will remember for a long time. I was asked to go on the 4th and 5th grade camping trip (three days) a few weeks ago. I politely declined and decided to stay back with the students who didn't go. I do love camping and getting my hands dirty, but my furbabies need their mama home to take care of them. ;)

    Fifth Grade Wit and

  3. I finally got around to checking out your field trip! That looks like a blast and actually less stressful than mine! I agree, I would not do sharks. *shiver* My new 5th grade team does an incentive every quarter (not as big as this) but the last one is a Lock-In at school. It was definitely motivated students to get with it if they weren't!

    1. A lock-in at school wouldn't be all that bad. It would be fast for me to get to a shower. I only live about two minutes away! Lol!

  4. Oh my goodness!! What a trip! I would have been exhausted...holy moly!! The memories will make it all worth it when you think back. :) I have to warn you though...I think hotels are even worse for sleeping than buses! A room to ourselves? Wahoo!! Kids go nuts! This Sea World was directly across from the resort we stayed at when we went to Disney! :) XXOO
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  5. You. Just. Lived. Through. My. Nightmare. From. Hell.

    There is no freakin' WAAAAAAAYYYY I would have ever consented to go on that field trip. (well, you know how I feel about $eaWorld...) but that aside, I'm NEVER going on a 6 hour bus ride with 96 kids, OR spending the night with them.

    I went to science camp for a week with my 5th graders, 14 years ago, and by Tues. I was using the pay phone (cell phones didn't work in the mountains) to collect-call my mom to complain about how much I hated it. I was MISERABLE!! I was brand-new to this school and we went the 3rd week of school. I didn't even know my fellow 5th grade teaches much less my 35 students. Three teachers to a room, all 6 of us sharing 1 bathroom. It was a living hell, and I will never ever ever do something like that again. I'll stick to our local field trips that last 3 hours. : )
    I am happy you had a fun time with the kids, though....never leave Big Comfy again.

    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

  6. Alison! AMAZING! What a great adventure! We take our fifth grade to an environmental camp every year, but the bus ride is only a little over a hour. I cannot imagine 6 hours on a bus! But I would totally love the activities you shared. Wow, is all I can say!

    Teachers Are Terrific!

    1. I would've been fine with an hour, Carol! That sounds perfect!!

  7. Wow that's a pretty cool trip! We only drive 20 minutes down the road to the rodeo. I'm sure the kids had an amazing time.

    Literacy Spark

  8. I've been wondering about how this went for you....You are one brave woman! After reading this, I will never complain again about taking a two hour bus ride to our state capital. You've definitely earned your summer break!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  9. Allison touched a SHARK! Way too cool! I can't imagine traveling so far, but it looked and sounded like it was worth it. I'm also glad that each 5th grader was given soap and a wash cloth prior to sleeping with the sea turtles. I'm sure the turtles appreciated it as well. Your students will remember this event forever, and will one day share stories with their children and grandchildren of how they slept with the sea turtles and their favorite teacher!


  10. Love all the groupies! :) This trip will be their favorite memory for many years to come! My students would probably say that I am a huge wimp too-- you are so brave for touching that shark!! I would never be able to bring myself to do that! My team was thinking about taking a trip (about 4 hours) to the Mall of America where there is a HUGE aquarium that students can spend the night.... glad we never ended up doing this... stinky kids! ahhh ick. Glad you had fun!!

    Funky in Fourth

    1. Four hours wouldn't be all that bad, but traveling six hours into a different time-zone was a lot. NEVER touching a shark ever again!!!!!!

  11. What an amazing trip. I can't believe you all survived. Six hours is an eternity on a bus with students - I lose my mind after 1 hour - that is my limit. I also love my sleep too much for this sort of thing - plus sleep loves me. I would fall asleep on the bus and can only imagine the pictures that would take place after that : ) You are truly a rock star!!

  12. You. Are. My. Hero.

    I could not, would not, should not, ever be asked to go on such a trip. No way, no how! I'm glad when all was said and done that everyone had a great time!!!! Of course, I'm also very happy to hear that no one lost any appendages while playing around with sharks n such!!!!
    Short and Sassy Teacher

  13. Absolutely love your pictures and your smile!
    I am so proud of you for going and making it a blast for those kids who obviously LOVE you! I could not have gone on a sleepover with my kids, would have woken up to gum in my hair and a sharpie mustache on my face since I don't do all-nighters very well! So happy that you enjoyed your trip!

    1. I didn't even think about them getting me with a sharpie. Hahah! I will need to do that to THEM on my next overnight field trip. That would be really funny!!!!


I heart readin' your comments and replyin' to you. Please be sure to check to see that you aren't a "no-reply blogger" so I can comment to you via email. Happy readin'!